On March 25 in the Sweet Sixteen round of the March Madness college basketball championship, three-seed Baylor lost to seven-seed South Carolina, but in addition to the upset that occurred, viewers witnessed something else remarkable.
Ed Uszynski, a writer for Athletes in Action, noted that after the game, instead of wildly celebrating, one of South Carolina’s assistance coaches told the players to “Calm down,” and a time of gathering and prayer was initiated.
“Interesting,” said announcer Verne Lundquist. “The celebration started, and Perry Clark one of the assistant coaches came out and said, ‘Calm down.’ And look at this. This is a remarkable scene of sportsmanship.”
Baylor players and coaches interlinked arms with South Carolina players and coaches and bowed their heads.
After being reverently silent for a few moments, announcer Jim Spanarkel stated, “It’s a great scene.”
Uszynski notes that the scene was a remarkable display of the gospel.
“Seeing South Carolina’s fiery, unapologetically crass head coach Frank Martin juxtaposed with all things currently Baylor in a prayer circle—combined with all the other narratives of the lives represented there—can be interpreted in many ways depending on the lenses you choose,” he writes, adding that “For others, it’s the very gospel itself, the kingdom of heaven somehow redeeming a moment dripping in idolatry and layers of brokenness, an emotional mixture of victory and defeat all rolled into one mass of athletic humanity.”
Photo: ake Lindsey #3 of the Baylor Bears reacts in the second half against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional at Madison Square Garden on March 24, 2017 in New York City.
Photo courtesy: Elsa/Getty Images
Publication date: March 27, 2017